For breast cancer survivors, one less worry

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Foods rich in soy naturally contain isoflavones, a compound with estrogen-like properties, which is why some doctors have advised their patients who are breast-cancer survivors to minimize the ingredient in their diet, hoping to decrease their risk of relapsing. That’s because it is fairly well-documented that an increased exposure to estrogen during a women’s lifetime — either due to late menopause, early menarche or never being pregnant — is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

But a new study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research this week in Orlando analyzed data from over 18,000 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer over an average period of nine years after diagnosis. The data show no statistically significant difference in cancer recurrence or death between women who ate a lot of soy and those who ate little or none.

Given the controversy surrounding soy ingestion among breast cancer patients in the past, ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross is happy to hear that these women can now “eat soy products at their pleasure, knowing that they are safe.”

ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan points out the irony consequent to this study, given that all the “environmental” activist groups are blaming estrogen-like, “endocrine-disrupting” chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA) for a host of adverse health outcomes, including early menopause. “The estrogenic effects of soy far outweigh those of BPA by orders of magnitude, and soy is now shown to have no effect on breast cancer recurrence. As this study demonstrates, to postulate that these so-called gender-benders pose any risk to health is just ridiculous.”